Bayside Group, established in 1976, is one of Australia’s leading recruitment and business services companies. Serving clients across the country, with 200 staff in 11 locations, Bayside offers a portfolio of services including recruitment, workforce management, human resources and workplace relations.
The challenge: Agility and responsiveness
As the company grew during the past 44 years, its telecommunications infrastructure expanded to support its busy staff. Different systems and services were installed as needs arose with additional capacity added when required.
Bayside Group founding director John Wilson says that, while this infrastructure had met the company’s demands for many years, increasing complexity and performance issues meant a different strategy was required.
“We had reached the point where our telecommunications system was no longer delivering the level of support we needed as a growing company,” Wilson says. “We had a fleet of aging PABXs in our offices which lacked flexibility. We had no easy way to route calls between locations or for staff to work remotely.” The company was also facing the prospect of losing access to its copper phone line connections. NBN had advised the lines would be decommissioned and so there was no choice but to seek an alternative platform.
The solution: A modern cloud-based phone system with advanced functionality
Wilson says that, during 2019, its management team had made the decision to adopt a ‘cloud-first’ strategy for all its information technology requirements. The plan was to, over time, migrate all applications and data stores from its corporate data centre to the cloud.
With this in mind, Bayside also investigated the potential of shifting from its traditional PABX infrastructure to a cloud communications platform. Working with technology partner GlobalTalk, the company evaluated a range of options before making the decision to deploy a cloud communications service from 8x8.“
We had initially planned to start our 8x8 implementation in January and gradually roll it out over the next few months,” says Wilson. “However, when the COVID-19 lockdowns happened, we were forced to fast-track our plans so that everyone was able to work from home.”
Working closely with GlobalTalk, Bayside quickly arranged training and equipped staff with softphones to allow them to make and receive calls, while working from home, using 8x8 on their computer and smartphones. The aging PABXs were retired and the company switched to its new, fully cloud-based, communications infrastructure.
The benefits: All-in-one communications from anywhere
With the COVID-19 lockdown having forced Bayside to close its offices, the benefits of the 8x8 platform quickly became apparent.
“It wasn’t just the glue that kept us together, it rapidly became our backbone,” says Wilson. “If we hadn’t had 8x8 in place, I don’t know how we would have survived as a company.”
We now have in place a flexible and scalable cloud communications platform that will meet our needs during the coming years.
The sophisticated call routing capabilities of the platform allowed staff to make and receive phone calls at home just as they would have when in the office. Transferring incoming calls to the most appropriate person and group calls initiated at the touch of a button resulted in increased responsiveness.
The 8x8 Meet capabilities have also been quickly embraced by staff. The simple-to-use video conferencing makes it easy to work efficiently and collaborate on documents using the screen share feature.
“Our staff really loves the flexibility the 8x8 solution delivers,” says Wilson. “ Streamlined call management, has led to a significant improvement in overall productivity.”
Wilson says he expects 8x8 usage to also result in a reduction in staff travel costs, once the viral restrictions are lifted. State manager meetings, that were being conducted once a month, will instead happen quarterly with the remainder held using 8x8.
Additional business benefits have come from the fact that Bayside has shifted from having multiple telecommunications carriers to just one for all offices. As well as a reduction in management overheads, this has led to a sizable saving in communications expenses.
“I estimate that shifting to 8x8 will save us around $20,000 a year on our telecoms costs,” he says. “When you factor in the other benefits such as improved productivity and reduced travel, the positive financial impact is even greater.”
Once operating conditions settle down when COVID-19 disruptions have passed, Wilson says attention will turn to the deployment of Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint. These applications will be integrated with 8x8 to further drive efficiencies and productivity improvements.
“We now have in place a flexible and scalable cloud communications platform that will meet our needs during the coming years,” he says. “We look forward to our ongoing relationship with GlobalTalk and finding new ways to put 8x8 to work within the company.”